Social Media by Leah

Response to IKEA’s Use of Facebook
November 25, 2009, 8:27 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Mashable featured an article about IKEA’s newest marketing strategy using Facebook.

Essentially, the furniture superstore opened up a new center in Sweden and instead of simply putting up banners advertising the opening, or sending out advertisements in the mail, the company created a Facebook account for the store manager and had him upload photographs of the showrooms to his Facebook account and whoever tagged themselves as a piece of furniture, won that item. The link quickly spread to thousands, and Mashable dubbed it as a genius use of photo tagging.

A genius idea, indeed. IKEA was able to create a campaign out of a technology that already exists. It was most likely inexpensive for them to create, seeing as signing up for a Facebook account is free and the furniture they gave away probably did not cost that much to them. The store also had a limited budget, so their advertising firm had to be creative. They were also able to use one of the best marketing and public relations strategies: word of mouth.

Additionally, Facebook is probably the best platform to use, since most of IKEA’s furniture is cheap and bought by younger people (who are mostly using Facebook). Plus, instead of just announcing on Facebook that some event is occurring, the Swedish company was able to utilize one of the most popular Facebook features and create a cheap contest, which got people to move the message.

However, while in theory Facebook may have been the best platform…one commenter on Mashable points out that IKEA’s contest was actually against the social network’s TOS. Facebook requires official representation, third party apps, etc. and so it has yet to be seen whether Facebook has taken action against IKEA, and whether it will tarnish the campaign.

It is also unclear whether the campaign actually got any more people into the store, but it is still an innovative way to use social media and photo tagging to advertise an event. While other companies may not use the Facebook platform to do something like this in the future because of the guidelines, it has still presented a new way of thinking.


Response 9: Wikipedia
November 18, 2009, 12:26 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Wikipedia has been the go-to reference Web site of my young adult life.

In college, if I needed to know something for a class or a paper, I turned to the site. However, this is not to say that I used it exclusively for my assignments. As discussed in class, Wikipedia is an excellent tool for general knowledge and for topics that need to be known quickly. And contributors do need to cite their information. But it has been seen that the online encyclopedia contains mistakes, sometimes deliberate. (As seen in this article that states that pranksters said David Beckham was a Chinese goalkeeper in the 18th century, or that Tony Blair’s middle name is “Whoop-de Do.”) And who is to say that these people out in the online world, masking themselves behind computer screens, are actually experts?

Granted, users do need to go through a discussion page and follow the tutorial before submitting changes or new topics, but I feel that there must be a better way to guarantee that what is on Wikipedia is truthful. Could Wikipedia work so that after a certain number of entries and changes, a person received points, or some type of grade that allowed them to become an “expert?” Could there be some sort of ranking system that moved from “newbie” to “expert,” so users that look up information on Wikipedia could know that some people are more legitimate, or more of an expert? Although, this raises the question of just because someone has not posted as much does not mean that they are not an expert in different fields.

Also, as pointed out in class, there have been errors in more traditional encyclopedias as well. Wikipedia even has a list of topics and facts that it has corrected. The Encyclopedia Britannica was written by 100 full-time editors and over 4,000 contributors (interestingly enough, I found this out on Wikipedia because when I googled “Who wrote the encyclopedia britannica I did not come up with an obvious answer). After a little more digging, I found this. The staff is made up of surgeons, Nobel Laureates, economists, computer scientists, authors, etc.

While you could argue that Wikipedia probably has contributors that are doctors, economists, computer scientists, novelists, etc., the Encyclopedia Britannica has an Editorial Board of Advisors which monitors the Encyclopedia. AGAIN, you could probably argue that the discussion board acts as a board of advisors, but I feel like the Encyclopedia Britannica is more formal. However, maybe the Encyclopedia Britannica is a thing of the past…a lot of the advisors have since died… and maybe the publication is fading.

The Internet is bringing people together more easily than ever before, and perhaps Wikipedia will someday not be criticized or watched (What is that site, anyway? It is weird). However, I still feel more comfortable using Wikipedia as a source for quick and general knowledge, and tend to use the library and more scholarly works for details on various topics, especially for school.

Tucker and Why I May Become a Cat Lady
November 17, 2009, 9:28 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

My family always had cats growing up.

First there was Hershey, a Seal Point Siamese kitty, who was so friendly and loved to eat ice cream. We got her when I was in second grade. She was my first real pet, you know, besides the hamsters, one goldfish, and random other small critters that lived in our house.

Hershey also liked to go outside. She loved the outdoors. She was hit by a car when I was in 5th grade. I was devastated. I cried for days and went out in the neighborhood searching for her, because a family friend had called and said she thought she saw Hershey on the side of the road near our house.

I never found her.

Our house was lonely for awhile–no meowing or cleaning litter boxes. That’s when Reese came along.

We got Reese, a Chocolate Point Siamese, from a breeder. We knew right away he was not Hershey. First of all, he was supposed to be pure bred, but he had especially long fur and a few suspect markings. He was also a terrible kitten. He scratched our leather couches, forcing my parents to put large comforters on them. Reese’s claws came out as soon as he was old enough.

Reese was supposed to be my cat again, but my mom was the one who really took care of him. Reese and my mom were inseperable. I went off to college, and being an only child, Reese was the lone kid in the house. He had been growing older, he was 11 and still living a good life outdoors. My parents vowed to not let another cat outside after Hershey died, but he escaped once and just loved the backyard. During the summer of 2008, he was attacked by an animal and had to be taken to the ER. My parents were a wreck..even my dad who claims to not like cats. Reese survived and recovered.

This past summer, I had a tough time dealing with some personal problems, and eventually started to get past them. I decided that I wanted a kitten of my own.

I found one on Craigslist. He was a very small, 8 week old kitten. Gray.Tom and I went to go look at him and immediately I fell in love. I took her home that night and to the vet the next day to get checked out.

12 ounces and healthy as can be.

My favorite part of the day was coming home in the afternoon and playing with her. Seeing her come out from under my comforter where she had been sleeping and let out little meows. We were inseperable. Tom thought I was a nut because of how attached to Tucker I was…but there was no denying..she was adorable.

The above photo is her a few days before I got her.

Tucker and I have had a rough start. She had an umbilical hernia, whic sent us to the ER in the middle of the night and cost me a whopping $1,000. Money that I don’t really have, but I took it out of my savings, because what should I have done? Let her die?

We also found out Tucker is a girl, not a boy, but we kept the name because everyone likes it.The way that I go back and forth between “he” and “she” in this post shows how confusing it got at first!

She is now six months old and is still my favorite. I still love coming home to her after work and cuddling with her in bed. She is crazy and still small, probably the runt of the litter, and loves to play. And she REALLY loves to eat.

I found out a month ago that Reese died in May. He went out one night and never came back, and my parents have only assumed the worst. My mother did not want to tell me because of what I was going through at the time, but she assured me that I now have my own kitten to take care of.

She says that when her and my dad retire they will get a Siamese kitten, but until then, the house will  be lonely.

While I may be turning into a cat lady, I never realized how much happiness having your own pet can bring. I know I’m not the only one. Lolcats definitely has some crazy cat owners (who have a sense of humor!!). Meowmail (Although Tucker does not have email, but if she did, she’d get mail because she is popular), Catbook (Reese had one), Catster, and numerous, numerous others.

Response #8: Crowdsourcing
November 10, 2009, 7:28 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Urban Dictionary: The slang dictionary you wrote. Define Your World.

Urban Dictionary is similar to a small Wikipedia, except that it consists of definitions of words, mostly slang. Anyone can add their own words, or contribute additional definitions to a word that is already in the dictionary.

The words range from silly (like Movember) to dirty or gross (like butt acne).

Not only does Urban Dictionary provide you with definitions, but there are also synonyms and the words are used in a sentence.  Sometimes, there are even pictures to show you the word.

The site also includes a marketplace where you can buy mugs with your favorite saying , a blog, a chatroom , and a link to buy their books.

I think Urban Dictionary is a genius idea and I find it to be useful. I use it mostly when a friend says some slang word that I have never heard of…and instead of sounding ignorant in front of a group of people, I nod my head enthusiastically, fake a laugh, and then hop onto my computer or my phone and go to Urban Dictionary to look up the mysterious word.

I do not ever have to worry whether a word will not be on the site. There are over four million words to look through.

Some consider the Web site to be gross, vile, or plain immature, but even Time considered it one of the top 50 Web sites in 2008.

And if that is not enough for you to take Urban Dictionary seriously, Aaron Peckham, the founder, is a software engineer at Google, and he once had big dreams to create a Thesaurus, which makes him a real go-getter.

Granted, some of the words are just outlandish or plain stupid…  but if you want to stay hip and not look like a fool at a party…you should probably keep Urban Dictionary handy.

TwitterPeek? Anyone?
November 3, 2009, 9:28 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I recently read an article on Mashable about the TwitterPeek that will be arriving soon.


The TwitterPeek was originally listed for $200 with lifetime service, or you can purchase it for $100, with six months free service, and then after that time period you will pay $8 a month. . . . to only use Twitter.

You cannot access links in Tweets because…well…the TwitterPeek…which I’ll call TP for short… does not have access to the Internet.

The good news is that it can last up to 3-4 days in between charges (not that that is impressive since the only thing the device does is look at Twitter) and it was designed with the Twitter people…so it is “intuitive to use.” I would hope it is intuitive to use…all it does is use Twitter. I will not even get started on why it would be difficult to type in 140 words and then hit post.

Apparently some people think it is silly to purchase a smart phone and pay a lot of money to use it. (I am not in this category, my iPhone is essentially an extension of my right hand). Ok. That’s fine. I can understand that…but you can do txt updates to Twitter on your Motorola Razr that you are still carting around because you refuse to give in to the trends. If there are people out there who are not texting, I can bet that they are also not tweeting.

Then I read this post that Mashable linked to and I got confused.

Wait, the TwitterPeek checks your email? Maybe this whole post was wrong.

I then realized that the post is referring to the original Peek that has messaging capabilities…and that is it.

Hell, I could make a case for that. I am attached to my email and if the iPhone was not around, I could see myself as possibly being interested in a Peek…but the TwitterPeek does not retrieve your email for you or message your friends. Unless of course you want to communicate via direct message or tweets. But that does not seem practical if you are going to be having a conversation.

Bottom line: I agree with most of the commenters on Mashable… and…mostly everyone else on the Internet.

TwitterPeek is an unnecessary device.


Response #7: The Surprise
November 3, 2009, 9:09 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The biggest surprise, and/or possibly the best thing I’ve learned so far, is about Google.

As I said in my previous post…I love Google.

I did a human resources project about Google in college, I Google things every single day, I look for images via Google, I use Gmail (best email client ever created, imo), I use Google Groups for my Strategy class, and the list goes on and on and on. (Btw–I can’t wait to get a Google Wave invite).

Hell, I even applied for a job at Google recently.

I thought I knew a lot about Google…and then I read The Search for class.

I learned all about the history, including the good points and the bad points.  I became aware of their strategies and their business models and it was interesting to see how such a large, successful company was able to grow from the young minds of Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

Then I read this post by Garrett (PS: This guy is 28, only six years older than me, and editor-in-chief of Washingtonian Magazine. Hope I get to be that successful in the next six years, but I digress and may have something on my nose).

Anyway–Garrett linked to this article about Google owning the Internet. In the article, it discusses Google someday owning everything we use. Telephone? Check. Cable television? Check. Stereo system? Check. Our lives? Check.

I began to wonder…is there anything wrong with that? Granted, for competitors it is probably an issue, since Google just about destroys everything in its path…but…

Google makes my life so much easier and simply….convenient.

It was after all of this that I realized that I have no idea what the Internet…or even the world will look like  in five, ten, 15 years. There are going to be things that I have not even dreamed of out there.

We are going to have to constantly be on our feet and adapting to new inventions and ideas. Luckily, I am young, so this is not difficult for me…but I think the way we do business in the future will be completely revamped because of the Internet, social media and ….those other things.

Is this where we are heading? Or this?

The biggest surprise is we may actually have no idea what is to come.